A law passed in Israel this week requires publications to note when an image has been edited to make a model appear thinner, and also bans models deemed as underweight from appearing in advertisements. It's not yet clear how exactly this law will be enforced, as proving that a well-photoshopped image has been modified is an extremely difficult task and every image published will be edited in some way.
Supporters of the law hope that it will encourage advertisers to use healthy models, but detractors say the BMI (Body Mass Index) system it uses as a gauge of health is flawed. The scale indicates anyone with a BMI of less than 18.5 as being underweight, but only takes weight and height into account, ignoring the varying proportions of muscle, bone, and fat in each person. Some people may be healthy at less than 18.5 BMI, whereas at the other end of the scale, those with a large proportion of muscle can be deemed overweight.
While we applaud the new legislation against editing images to make women look thinner, and the spirit in which the new BMI restriction was proposed, we wonder if imposing general health checks rather than relying on a rigid scale might not be a better way forward.